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Joey Votto rocks Cleveland, Cincinnati Reds win series opener 10-3

‘Twas a good return to GABP.

Cleveland Indians v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

If you somehow managed to both have your head under a baseball rock the last two weeks while also stumbling into a Cincinnati Reds blog late on a Friday night, well, you might still have one question running through your mind at the moment.

Does Joey Votto still bang?

Folks, Joey Votto does still bang.

The Cincinnati 1B bonked another dinger on Friday against Cleveland, bashed a double off the top of the LF wall that nearly doubled that dinger output on the night, and did so with both having been jammed to the tune of 103+ mph off the bat. He even did so while hitting from the cleanup spot on short notice, which instantly made his strength and power ratings on The Show bump up by +2 before the first pitch.

Look forward to future banging from Joey in the coming days and weeks, and savor the living hell out of it as he approaches 300 dingers and 1,000 ribeyes for his career.

Honorable Mentions are due to a slew of folks, including Nick Castellanos (dinger), Eugenio Suarez (double, walk, ribbies), Jeff Hoffman (quality start, ribbie, more on that below), and Tyler Stephenson (hits, ribbies, hibbipies, runs).

Key Plays

  • Amed Rosario made the LEDs on the scoreboard adjust themselves first in this one, his solo job into the LF seats off Hoffman in the Top of the 2nd giving Cleveland an early 1-0 lead.
  • Hoffman helped provide some offense to get that run back, however. The Bottom of the 3rd saw Kyle Farmer reach on an error by 3B Jose Ramirez, while Tyler Stephenson later got booped on the right foot by a Logan Allen pitch. An Allen wild pitch then moved both runners up, and Hoffman’s bloop single into CF scored Farmer to level the score. Winker then faced off against Allen, a lefty, and leftied a single up the middle to score Stephenson, and Castellanos followed with an RBI-single into LF to get Hoffman back to the dugout for a break and chase Allen to an early shower while there were still zero outs recorded. Righty Phil Maton took over and yielded a 2-run double into LF by Suarez, who ended up on 3B thanks to an error by the catcher on the would-be tag. That mattered not, though, as Votto would’ve scored him from anywhere with his 2-run dong, and the Reds held a 7-1 lead.
  • Walks to Geno and Farmer sandwiched a Jonathan India single in the Bottom of the 5th, loading the bases for Stephenson, who poked a 2-run single into CF to put the Reds ahead 9-1.
  • Castellanos poked a solo job that just cleared the RF fence in the Bottom of the 6th, not because it wasn’t smoked (105 mph exit velocity), just because it was a piss-missile that I swear barely got higher than about 14 feet off the ground. Reds led, 10-1.
  • Jordan Luplow hit a GABP special off the top of the LF wall for a solo job in the Top of the 9th off Cam Bedrosian, and a later sac-fly added another, but that fortunately proved to be the last bit of damage done on the night in an otherwise impressive 10-3 win.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Mike Moustakas was a late scratch from tonight’s lineup with a reported non-COVID illness. Kyle Farmer took his spot at 3B to begin things, but eventually Max Schrock took over (and provided a hit and a nice jumping stab on defense) in his Reds debut.
  • Jeff Hoffman truly had a rock solid start for the Reds, even if some of the underlying peripherals weren’t the best. He allowed some loud outs, to be sure, but also surrendered a lone run in 6 IP, scattering 7 H and 3 BB against his 4 K.
  • Sonny Gray will make his season debut for the Reds on Saturday when these two clubs tussle once more. He’ll be countered by Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie, with first pitch set for 4:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.